Memory Text: “‘I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called “Not my loved one.” I will say to those called “Not my people,”“You are my people”; and they will say, “You are my God”’” (Hosea 2:23, NIV).
Key Thought: Even amid spiritual adultery and divine judgment, God’s love for His people never wavers.
The prophet Hosea ministered at the close of a very prosperous period in Israel’s history, just before the fall of the nation to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. At that time, God’s chosen people no longer worshiped the Lord alone but also served Baal, a Canaanite god.
Placed at the head of the Minor Prophets, Hosea’s book addresses the central question of the prophetic proclamation during this time of apostasy: Does God still love Israel, despite the spiritual harlotry? Does He still have a purpose for them despite their sins and the coming judgment?
Hosea’s personal story and prophecy are inseparably tied into his book. Just as the prophet had forgiven his unfaithful wife and was willing to take her back, God is willing to do the same for His people.
What can we learn from the experience of Hosea and the Lord’s way of dealing with wayward Israel?
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 6.